Tucked within the beautiful Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green, Peg + Patriot is a cosy bar that was opened just a few months ago by Matt Whiley of the Talented Mr Fox and his team, Ally Martin and James Stevenson. It was pretty quiet on a Sunday night, with just a few barstools occupied. I took a spot at the bar and studied the clipboard-bound menu. Is it me, or are a lot of London bars hopelessly obsessed with clever puns? Continue reading
After a great dinner at the Corner Room in Bethnal Green, I decided to check out nearby bar Satan’s Whiskers which had just opened a few months back. The bar, indicated by a red neon sign, had the expected decor of hipster cocktail lounges with a tasteful mix of brick, reclaimed items, light bulbs with visible filaments, a selection of taxidermied and accessorized animals, a unicorn skeleton, and an ironic old school hip hop soundtrack.
The Sazerac and Manhattan are classics that I enjoy all year long. But sometimes I look for variations with a slightly lighter feel to accompany the change of seasons.
Sam Ross’ Cobble Hill is a Manhattan with dry vermouth where half of the vermouth is replaced with Montenegro, an amaro. Cucumber is muddled into the drink. With dry vermouth and cucumber, the cocktail feels light and fresh which is unusual for a rye-based cocktail. The result still has the richness and complexity of a Manhattan/Brooklyn variation, the Montenegro contributing is vanilla notes and bitter finish.
I’ve tried Bulleit and High West Double Rye! in this drink and prefer the version with the latter. Its green and almost floral aromas go particularly well with the Montenegro.
I just received my copy of Tony Conigliaro’s Cocktail Lab, the American edition of Drinks that just came out a few days ago. Tony Conigliaro’s bars, 69 Colebrooke Row in London and le Coq in Paris, are known for their avant-garde approach to cocktails, many of them developed in a laboratory setting. The book contains a wide array of drinks, from twists on classics to more complex recipes, some involving homemade distillates requiring laboratory equipment. Just flipping through the book, it was interesting to see that his sources of inspiration for new drinks even included perfumes. It is the kind of book that is not just a collection of recipes but also a stepping stone for new creations. It is great that he is sharing his creative process with us.